I started my final day in Berlin by heading up near the zoo to join a walking tour of Sachsenhausen, the concentration camp nearest to the city. I couldn’t find the meeting point, so I was sitting on the side of the street observing Berlin life and listening to Chemical Chords by Stereolab.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9LwpTYLJvY&w=450]
At that point a woman came up to me and said, “sorry, I noticed your Apple jacket I was wondering if you could help us with our iPad?” seeing as she introduced me to the fact that Berlin’s Starbucks have wifi, I was more than happy to help out this older couple. I learned that Skype for iOS really sucks and the UI to add a new contact leaves much to be desired. I also learned that this couple was from Ottawa, and so we talked about their lovely city.
From there I googled “things to do in Berlin” and found a Trip Advisor article. Going though the article, I found I had done much of what they suggested. There were a few things I hadn’t done, but one stuck out to me, being in water. As you may recall all this walking has been killing me, so when I found Liquidome, I was excited. Turns out it is also a couple blocks away from the hostel.
Basically they have a giant pool, which is salt water, low lighting, and soothing music. Seeing as its salt water, I was able to lie back and just float. They even had speakers underwater. I can’t overstate how good it felt to just be in the water.
They also have steam rooms and saunas with lots of naked people, even better, good looking, naked women. Not much better than that. They also have an outdoor hot tub and with a drizzle of cold rain, it was a nice feeling.
They also had some little pools. I found my favourite one, it was hidden away and empty. It was the perfect size for me to stretch out completely on my back and float. It was divine.
Then I got a text from Moti, he was back in Berlin and we were heading out. First we went to a church that was on the border of east and west Berlin. They had photos of the city going back to the late 19th century.
From there we went to the Turkish market and ate Palestinian falafel. It was good falafel, better than the stuff I had in London. Falafel King at Bathurst and Eglinton is still my favourite. We also went to the monument for the Berlin wall. Where exactly it is, I’m not sure, but they had information pillars along a path of the wall, and markers in the ground. It gave a good history of the building of the wall, and life for those who lived on the border. Near the end they had a museum which wasn’t great and a reconstruction of the death strip.
We also walked along the east gallery which is pieces of wall painted by various artists. Some was good, some was shit, very little actually drew me to it.
We also went to shul. We visited the New Synagogue. They have a police guard box as part of the synagogue, that’s depressing, but sadly realistic. I’ve never liked that police were at shul for the high holidays, and though I like them personally, I don’t like that the synagogue I work in needs security staff. I would hate a permanent presence of police.
From there we drank beer. Mmm, beer.
Then we drank more beer and had some sausages and sauerkraut. I never knew I liked sauerkraut. I don’t think I ever tried it before, but it’s good. Sausages were good, too. The place was very touristy and kind of amazing. They had a band, with accordion. I think it’s the German Kelsey’s. It was packed with Germans singing along to the songs.
Then I was back to the hostel. I popped into my room, there were a couple new women there. They weren’t asleep and after miming a request for permission to turn on the main light, I did. I repacked in under five minutes. I was impressed with myself. I grabbed my laptop and phone and went downstairs to see if Air Canada was flying. All seemed a go, and then I made friends with an Iranian-Spaniard. I saw he was applying for a student visa in Canada, so we talked about my home. He had never heard of Toronto, but has a couple friends who immigrated to Vancouver and Montreal. Then I went to sleep, and by sleep I mean lying in my bed from midnight to four in the morning, throwing on socks, pants, a jacket1, and grabbing my backpack and luggage. I was out of the room in less than ten minutes, and most of that was negotiating getting out of the top bunk in the dark. Not so easy. Especially when you’re a giant. I don’t think I woke anyone up, until I opened the door. Sorry.
Then I hung around downstairs in the common area and watched some drunk annoying Brits try to woo a Russian girl.
And now I’m in the Berlin airport waiting for my first of two flights. It was a long bus ride to get here and I think the biased will be longer than the flight to Frankfurt, but in about 10 hours I’ll be in Toronto2.